Vatican’s UN envoy says bishop’s defrocking shows church takes abuse seriously

VATICAN CITY - The defrocking of a former Vatican ambassador is a “sign of the seriousness” with which Pope Francis and the Vatican are approaching the clergy sexual abuse scandal, according to the Holy See’s representative to United Nations agencies in Geneva.

Pope phones rabbi, offers condolences over murder Israeli teens' murder

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis telephoned Rome's chief rabbi to personally express his sadness over the murder of three kidnapped Israeli teens whose bodies were found June 30 in Hebron, West Bank.

Vatican laicizes former nuncio in connection to abuse allegations

VATICAN CITY - A Vatican investigation has led to the expulsion of a former Vatican ambassador from the priesthood in response to allegations of sexually abusing minors.

Pope condemns mafia, says members are excommunicated

VATICAN CITY - In the stronghold of an Italian crime syndicate believed to be richer and more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia, Pope Francis said, "Those who follow the path of evil, like the mafiosi do, are not in communion with God; they are excommunicated!"

Say 'no' to drugs, 'yes' to life, love, job creation, Pope says

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis said legalizing marijuana and other so-called "recreational drugs" has never curbed drug addiction rates and has little impact on the criminal organizations trafficking drugs around the world.

Pope Francis to visit the heart of Italy’s mafia country

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis will travel to the heartland of the Italian mafia for the first time June 21, visiting the southern town where a three-year-old was murdered in a local drug war earlier this year.

None of your business? How Church and finance may profit together

VATICAN CITY - When Pope Francis condemns a "cult of money" and the "dictatorship" of a faceless economy, he isn't trying to damper entrepreneurial spirit or shutter business.

Pope appeals for peace in Iraq, announces plans to visit Albania

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis expressed his fears over increasing violence in Iraq and prayed for peace, security and reconciliation in the country.

Pope, Anglican archbishop urge joint action to share God's love

VATICAN CITY - Although they have not yet reached full unity, Roman Catholics and Anglicans continue their dialogue, come together in prayer and work side by side, including on a new project to combat human trafficking around the world.

Pope: Corruption is easiest 'sin at fingertips' of anyone with power

VATICAN CITY - For everyone who has any kind of authority over others, the one sin "at your fingertips" is the sin of corruption, Pope Francis said.

Could Pope be China-bound?

VATICAN CITY - When Pope Francis visits South Korea Aug. 14-18, he will take part in Asian Youth Day with delegates from some 30 countries, preside over the beatification of 124 Korean martyrs and meet with President Park Geun-hye.